Ganesh Chaturthi is a 10-day long festival celebrated to mark the birth of Lord Ganesha . This festival is celebrated with a lot of zeal and enthusiasm across the country, especially in the western state of Maharashtra. The day falls on Chaturthi thithi (fourth day) of the Hindu month of Bhadra (August – September). This year the festivities will begin on September 10 and will continue will September 19.
On this occasion, people install clay idols of Lord Ganesha in their home and pray for 10 days for prosperity, good fortune and wisdom. Lord Ganesha is known as the God of good fortune who provides prosperity, fortune, success and destroys evil. Due to all these qualities, he is also known as Vighnaharta and the day of Ganesh Chaturthi is called Vinayaka Chavithi or Vinayaka Chaturthi.
Madhyahna Ganesha Puja: 11:03 am to 01:33 pm
Duration - 02 Hours 30 Minutes
Chaturthi Tithi Begins - 12:17 AM on Sep 10, 2021
Chaturthi Tithi Ends - 10:00 PM on Sep 10, 2021
Duration - 21 Hours 43 Minutes
Ganesha Visarjan on Thursday, September 12, 2021
The festival begins with people bringing clay idols of Lord Ganesha to their house and installing them in the worship place. On the first day of Ganesh Chaturthi, they clean the house, wear new clothes, decorate the house with flowers and rangoli before starting the prayer. All family members sit together and offer fruit, flowers and modak (Lord Ganesha's favourite sweet) and praise the Lord. Some people even observe fast for 10 days and break it only after bidding goodbye to their favourite God.
Lifesize statues are installed in the different pandals at public places and worshipped for 10-day. The festivals of Ganesh Chaturthi begin with welcoming Lord Ganesha into homes and end by ultimately bidding him goodbye by submerging the idol in the water on the 10th day.
How to do the Puja
On the first day, the house is cleaned and the altar is set up. A special seat or pedestal for Lord Ganesh is arranged and red cloth is placed on it. The idol of Lord Ganesh is given a bath and then placed on the altar. After this Durva grass and Arka flowers and modakam (rice ball stuffed with sweet) is offered to the idol. They listen to the story of Lord Ganesha, chant mantras and then aarti is performed.
Following Vinayaka Chaturthi day, the pujas are offered daily in the morning and evening. After which the ceremony of visarjan (submerging the idol in water) is arranged. Through this, the devotee offers a ceremonial send-off to the Lord till he returns to bless the homes next year.
Ganesh Puja begins with a traditional calling, Avahana, which should be performed by folding the hands and chanting the following mantra:
He Heramba Tvamehyehi Hyambikatryambakatmaja।
Siddhi-Buddhi Pate Tryaksha Lakshalabha Pituh Pitah॥
Nagasyam Nagaharam Tvam Ganarajam Chaturbhujam।
Bhushitam Svayudhaudavyaih Pashankushaparashvadhaih॥
Avahayami Pujartham Rakshartham Cha Mam Kritoh।
Ihagatya Grihana Tvam Pujam Yagam Cha Raksha Me॥
Om Siddhi-Buddhi Sahitaya Shri Mahaganadhipataye Namah।
Vinayaka Chaturthi: Fasting Rules
Most people who bring the idol of Lord Ganesha in their house observe fast they the Lord is present in their house. They commence the vrat at the dawn and fast till the evening. A complete fast is considered auspicious, however, a partial past is also permitted with the consumption of Prasad offered at the puja and milk. In the evening, after Ganesh aarti, the fast is concluded. This follows till the last day.
The devotees can have fruits, sabudana khichdi, curd and rice, sweets including ladoo, gajak and rewari. It is strictly prohibited to consuming non-vegetarian foods and alcohol during this time.
Ganesh Visarjan denotes the cycle of birth, life, and death and also emphasizes the fact that everything in life is momentary.
On the 10th day after the everyday puja, the devotees submerge the Lord's statue in the water. They chant slogans such as Ganapati Bappa Morya, sing and dance on the way, celebrating the moment.
While some like to celebrate Visarjan on the same day as Sthaphna, Ganesha Visarjan can be done after one-and-half-day, 7th, 5th or 3rd day of Ganesh Chaturthi.